The poster for Carnival in Santa Cruz de La Palma
February 8, 2016

 UPDATE: Correct date for the 60s wedding Sorry for the gap in posting. I’ve had flu, so I missed the start of Carnival. Here’s the program for Santa Cruz: The rest of the program is HERE. And here’s the program for Los Llanos:   Other dates worth noting: Los Sauces will hold the 60s wedding on Sunday 14th at 6pm. and the sardine’s funeral on Saturday 20th at 9:30 pm.


The Famous Balconies

The famous sea-front balconies in Santa Cruz de la Palma
December 9, 2015

These are the famous sea-front balconies in Santa Cruz de la Palma. Actually these are the backs of the houses: the fronts look onto the Calle Real. When I first came to the island in 1990, the woodwork was all green and the plaster all white. For the town’s 500th anniversay, in 1993, the whole lot disappeared behind acres of black plastic sheeting for weeks while they were repainted in…


Ship building in Santa Cruz de La Palma

November 4, 2015

Santa Cruz used to be the third biggest port in the Spanish empire, after Cadiz and Antwerp. So perhaps it’s not surprising that it also used to be quite a big shipyard. Some 90 ships were built there between 1809 and 1948. In fact I was recently told that the chestnut trees weren’t introduced for the chestnuts: they were mostly for the wood, for shipbuilding. One of the biggest was…


Tobacco in La Palma

October 20, 2015

I don’t smoke, so everything I know about Palmeran cigars is from hearsay. But they seem to have a very good reputation. Certainly Winston Churchill was known to be a fan, and certainly they get shipped off to the Spanish royal family. Most of the tobacco farms on the island are in Santa Cruz, Breña Baja, and especially Breña Alta. Typically, the crop is grown in tiny fields and given…


Happy 30th birthday to the Observatory

September 20, 2015

Happy 30th birthday to the Observatory at the Roque de Los Muchachos! The official inauguration was in 1985, attended by the royalty from Denmark, Holland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and heads of state of Germany and Ireland. At that time there were only six telescopes on La Palma; now there are 17 of them. To celebrate, the Canarian Astrophysics Institute has a free exhibition in Santa Cruz de…


Art Exhibition by Mariana Arranz

Poster for Mariana's exhibition
September 3, 2015

Mariana Arranz has an exhibition in Santa Cruz de La Palma, in the art room of La Molina Artesania (the rather good craft and souvenir shop), on the Calle Real. To my mind, the paintings are surprisingly cheap, starting at 70€, which will bepart of the reason why she sold two at the inauguration. Mariana will also take orders. For example, the owner asked for a painting of his two…